South Sudan

National Engagement Strategy

Since 2015, the achievements of the South Sudan NES include: 

  • Setting up a civil society Large Scale Land Acquisition Observatory to monitor large scale acquisitions taking place across the country, and engaging state and non-state actors on all deals related to large scale acquisitions; 
  • Putting in place an advocacy working group for speeding up the land policy as well as for the review of other land laws, with special consideration for land rights of customary ownership.
  • Engaging policy dialogue with relevant government actors at national level, leading to the draft Land Policy Bill analysis and recommendations.

What is a National Engagement Strategy? Learn more HERE

Contact details: 

Wodcan Saviour Lazarus | NES Facilitator

Country context: 

After decades of civil war, the new Government of South Sudan (GOSS) faces a variety of challenges, characteristic of a post-conflict setting and which form the background to competing claims over land. The need for good land management remains pivotal, as the government continues to receive, reintegrate, and resettle South Sudanese returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) into communities. At the same time, the quest for development and investment has exposed the country to a growing global wave of international large-scale investment, with investors competing with smallholder producers for the land on which their livelihoods depend.  This situation, if not well managed, is a potential source of conflict and insecurity of land tenure.

Currently there is a dire lack of land-related legal provisions and even the few that are available are poorly implemented, partly due to insufficient technical and institutional capacity. The country's Land Act of 2009  was passed in a hurry and was not widely disseminated, with very few South Sudanese now being aware of their land rights. This situation is further complicated by the lack of capacity at different levels to implement the Land Act and other land-related legal provisions.

Country strategy: 

The overall objective of the National Engagement Strategy process in South Sudan is therefore to contribute to creating a coordinated and inclusive land policy that addresses and protects the land rights and interests of vulnerable groups, especially women. Particularly, it will focus on improving access to land for local communities by supporting local land institutions and traditional authorities in implementing the provisions of the Land Act 2009 for land registration, land disputes, and resolution mechanisms; supporting enforcement of the Land Act 2009 and the Investment Promotion Act 2009 for land acquisitions, regulation, and control; promoting harmonisation and decentralisation of the land laws; and creating public awareness around the Land Policy Bill of 2013 and the Land Act 2009 and other land-related issues.